Scholarship Essay Contest

2018 Essay Theme



About Our Scholarship Essay Contest

2018 is the 21st year of our essay contest. Each spring, the Connecticut Chapter awards two $1,000 scholarships to Connecticut high school seniors who win our essay contest. As of 2018, we will have awarded over $35,000 in scholarship money!

Awards are announced in late May, and a check is mailed directly to each winner's institution of higher learning in August.

Entry Deadline

May 15, 2018


*This Scholarship Essay Contest is open to Connecticut high school seniors.

*Scholarship funds are payable to the winner’s college/university or certified trade school in the United States; winner must enroll for classes beginning no later than Fall 2018 session.

*Each entry must include a Completed Application, Essay and one Recommendation Letter and must be received by the Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association by May 15, 2018. 

*Winners are announced in late May.


2017 Winning Essay #1

Winner #1 (Marine Science Magnet High School)

  The Impact of a Fire Sprinkler System   

Fire Sprinkler systems have played a huge part in the lives of many families. Ever since I was a little kid, I was constantly wondering about how things in life worked, as most children do when they are younger. One of the things in life I questioned, was how the fire sprinkler system functioned. As I grew older, I researched what fire sprinkler system exactly is and how they are very important in not only saving lives. The NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative is focused on bringing fire sprinkler systems into the average residential home, because “we are not at greatest risk from fire in hotels or other public places; it is at home, where most of us feel the safest, that we are actually at highest risk of fire.” This is eye-opening, because one would normally not think of the home as the place where fire occurs the most. However, since homes do not have the same safety codes as businesses, which are required to have state of the line automatic fire sprinkler systems that most residential homes do not have (“How sprinklers work”). As a result of not having fire extinguishing technology, residential homes have been deemed the most vulnerable to internal fires. This statement is supported by the Concord Department of Fire and Life Safety, which states “In the year 2000, 73 percent of structure fires occurred in residential Structures” (“Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems”). According to the Free Dictionary, a fire sprinkler “is a system for automatically extinguishing fires in a building, consisting of overhead waterpipes with outlet valves that open at a certain temperature.” (“How Sprinklers Work”).  This system is unique, because the water for the system is “always in the piping”  (“How Sprinklers Work”). The fire sprinkler system, after it has been activated, “sprays water forcefully over the flames, extinguishing them completely in most cases, or at least controlling the heat and limiting the development of toxic smoke” (“How Sprinklers Work”). The development of toxic smoke is one of the leading causes of death within a residential home, not the flames from the fire. For one to increase their chances of surviving a fire, “having a residential fire sprinkler system installed in your home can increase your survival expectancy during a fire by 80%” (“Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important?”). By having an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home, you are not only ensuring a greater chance survival for your family, but insuring that your house will not burn down as well. Even though you may think that your family is safe, a fire sprinkler system is the safest way to go, because a fire may threaten your home at any time.                

Works Cited

"Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies Equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems.” Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies Equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems. Concord Department of Fire and Life Safety FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE, 01 Sept. 2005. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.   

“How sprinklers work.” Fire Sprinkler Initiative. NFPA, 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.


“Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important?” Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important? Kauffman Co., 18 June 2015. Web 14 Apr. 2017.